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Published: 2009/07/27

Live From the Vibes Day 4: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Grace Potter, Buddy Guy and The McLovins

Relix and report live from Bridgeport, CT
Crosby, Stills & Nash closed the 14th annual Gathering of the Vibes last night, offering a two-hour set that relied heavily on hits and classic rock covers. The trio, who performed with a small backing combo that included David Crosbys son James Raymond on keyboards, opened its set with Stephen Stills Love the One You’re With and ran through a number of Age of Aquarius anthems, including the tender Helpless Hoping and the rocker Almost Cut My Hair. The group also previewed its forthcoming covers by playing the Rolling Stones Ruby Tuesday, James Taylors You Can Close Your Eyes and Bob Dylans Girl From The North Country (the album will also include a version of the Grateful Deads Uncle Johns Band). The group fit well with the weekends Woodstock reunion vibe, and the band proclaimed weve never played this festival before but well be backyoure a great audience.

The rest of Sundays lineup paid tribute to a variety of roots-styles. After the festivals traditional Sunday peace prayer, The Harlem Gospel Choir opened the days mainstage festivities with a set of gospel standards that peaked during a perfect take on Albert E. Brumleys I’ll Fly Away. Soon after, festival stalwarts John Browns Body played a set of reggae songs, before the new incarnation of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals took the stage for an extended set. As expected, the bands performance culminated with a version of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, before the entire ensemble moved behind the drums for an extended jam. Nocturnals members Scott Tournet, Matt Burr and Benny Yurco also showed off the new version of their side-project Blues & Lasers on the festivals Green Vibes stage (bassist John Rogone replaces former Nocturnals bassist Bryan Dondero). The members of the Nocturnals could also be spotted watching CSN from the audience. Buddy Guy played the festivals penultimate mainstage set, mixing original material with covers like Jimi Hendrixs Voodoo Chile. He also brought out one of his child students to front his ensemble for a few songs.
For many, the afternoons highlight was the festival debut of The McLovins. The three-piece jamband, which blew up thanks to a series of YouTube clips and Phantasy Tour posts, features three Hartford-based teenagers (the bands parents sold t-shirts and CDs during the show). The group opened its set with a cover of the Grateful Deads Shakedown Street, and ran through a number of originals that recalled Weather Report and early Phish, before closing its set with a segue from Phishs You Enjoy Myself into Backwards Down the Number Line. Drummer Jake Huffman, in particular, seemed poised for rock-star success as he bantered with the crowd and sang most of the afternoons song selections.

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